Pineapple Upside Down Cake

August 26, 2011


Unnaturally or overly sweet fruit topped cakes are not my thing.  Now that’s not to say that I will not throw down on a piece of gooey dripping chocolate cake or a huge hunk of Via Brownies…give me a glass of COLD milk and its game on!  But fruit topped cake, not so much.  I like to have a perfect balance between the cake and the fruit. I somehow seemed to have  collected five, yes count them, five cans of crushed pineapple…who needs five cans of crushed pineapple I ask you?  Well the only logical thing to do is cook off some Pineapple upside down cake.

I like a pineapple upside down cake that is moist on the inside but the outer sides of the cake that is slightly crispy/crunchy which sounds odd but it works.  Having that bit of tooth feel to the edges from the slight caramelizing of the sugars sets off the flavors from the mild inner part of the cake so well.   I also am a fan of pecans in my cake.  Now you can get all fancy and use rings of pineapple laying them out all nice and pretty in the bottom of the pan, filling each center with a maraschino cherry…I am good with that as well but sometimes you just want to dump it all in there and get it in the oven so you can poke it down your neck.  When it gets to that point in the WikiJan household out comes the crushed pineapple.  No muss. No fuss.  In the oven and on the plate.

This cake pulls together very quickly and is out of the oven in about 45 minutes so its great for a last-minute dessert that will impress. The only part that is a bit of a hazard is flipping the cake out of the pan.  Be careful you don’t get any of the topping on you it will burn you badly.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook 1981)

1 8oz can of pineapple (crushed or rings)

2 Tb Butter

1/2 c packed Brown Sugar

4 Maraschino Cherries (halved -only needed if using rings)

1 1/2 c AP Flour

2 1/2 Ts Baking Powder

1/3 c Shortening

3/4 c Sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 Ts Vanilla Bean Paste (or extract)

1/4 Ts Salt

1 c Chopped Pecans

Drain pineapple and reserve liquid you will need 2/3c of liquid. If you are using rings slice them in half.

In your baking pan or iron skillet melt butter, brown sugar, 1/2 c.of chopped nuts and 1 TB pineapple liquid; stir until well combined and sugar starts to melt. Remove from heat, make sure everything is evenly spread in the bottom of the backing dish. If you are using rings fan them out in the bottom of the pan adding a half cherry to each slice.  Combine remaining dry ingredients.

Just toss them in the pan and give it s stir

Make it nice and even

Beat shortening about 30 seconds add sugar and beat till well combined.  Add in your egg and give it a go again till light and fluffy, add your vanilla bean paste and combine.

Don’t forget to scrap the sides down

Whip it till it is not sandy any longer

Nice and lemon-y looking

See all those dark specks, those are vanilla beans, the paste is black with them

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the juice mixing well after each addition.

Mix it well scraping down the sides

Add your nuts and stir in

With a spatula carefully drop small dollops of batter into your backing dish covering the brown sugar/pineapple in the bottom of the pan, smooth out evenly baking at 350 for approx 40 minutes.

Carefully spread the batter

All nice and even

Allow to cool for few minutes before removing from baking dish.

Love the browned  top

Be careful when flipping so you don’t get burn I use a towel to cover everything while flipping

Scrap the bits if need be and spread on the cake

Crispy crunchy sides

It should have a nice delicate crumb

Now go play with your food.



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